The Backstreets of Purgatory

By Helen Taylor

Caravaggio in Glasgow: A Tale of Art, Insanity and Irn Bru

Sunday, 10 July 2016


Dear Purgatorial Personages,

Sorry to say, this whole Unbound business has unleashed (unlea-shed) a monster. Four whole years it took me to twit my first tweet and now (despite compelling advice against it) I cannot stop myself. There’s a certain freedom when no one is listening. Like talking to yourself. Like singing in the bath.

(Incidentally despite having recently refurbished my bathroom to a standard of extreme excellence and hitherto unknown luxury, and the consequent astonishing acoustics, my singing sounds no less like a tortured cat than before. That is quite sad.)

Not only twit stuff going down though. For reasons that elude me and despite my usual introverted tendencies, I have granted myself a licence to sending stalky emails to people I don’t know. 

The first of these was the amazing Malcolm Middleton, musician, writer of some of the blackest, saddest, funniest, miserable-tastic lyrics I have ever listened to, and to whose music I turned when I needed to get in the right head space for my main character, Finn. Basically, I had my Misery moment. Wrote him this ‘number one fan and can I use your lyrics as an epitaph’ type of message. Daft bugger said yes.


And for your listening pleasure (if I’m allowed to share). The First Big Weekend of 2016.

(Other cultural icons beware…I am on your case).

Helen x

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